Here's a question. Forced to decide, would you rather have a patent troll breathing down your neck, or cuddle up with an entity just as ghoulish that's living under a bridge? The FTC wants your thoughts on the matter, even if its description isn't quite so... colorful. The agency is putting out a call for public commentary on its proposed investigation of patent assertion entities, which have come under federal scrutiny as of late. Key to the proposal, the FTC would request information from 25 patent trolls to learn non-public information such as their corporate structure, patent holdings, means of acquiring patents, the cost of enforcing them and the earnings that the trolls generate. Accordingly, the agency hopes to "develop a better understanding of how they impact innovation and competition."
For comparison sake, the FTC also proposes an information request from approximately 15 companies in the wireless communication sector, which would include manufacturers and other licensing entities. You're more than welcome to answer the bridge question in the comments, but if you want to contact the FTC directly, you'll find everything you need after the break.
Filed under: Misc